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Hi im new to this sort of thing. Im 28 and have been depended on by my mum longer than i've been a carer. It has held me back so much in life, Shes epileptic, she suffers from anxiety, osteoarthritis in her lower back, extremely poor balance and leg strength issues, Cant bend down without being in pain, Cant hold a cup or even sign her name due to shaking hands, memory issues and paranoia. As years go by im finding myself unable to cope emotionally and mentally more and more due to the way she treats me. I suffer from depression on a daily basis and get some anxiety at times also which i feel i have to hide from everyone and pretend that im ok wen im not. Went to a therapist for her once and the therapist looked at me n asked how i was coping and it was my mum who answered for me (he is fine) without even giving me chance to answer for myself. I feel trapped because shes always said that when she dies she wants me to claim for my younger brother who has dyspraxia and cerebral pausy and its always a battle trying to get her to let me go anywhere for longer than a hour without sending me quite rude text messages. When i talk about girls and how one day id like to have a family of my own at first she used to say to me "you cant have a girlfriend and care for me" then after some serious arguements over it i got "you knew what you were letting urself in for when u become a carer" as if it was some sort of life sentance. I want to have kids i want to get married i wanna salvage the youth i have left in me which i feel crumbling away every day i wake up. I got no motivation to do anything but sleep, feel so damn run down dont even remember what it feels like to be free even just for 1 day. But as i said above i dont feel i have enough space to even see a Councillor or psychiatrist or even see my damn doctor about these things.
That is so sad.and so selfish of your mum. Nobody would want their child living like that and being a burden on them. She should want you to he happy having your pwn life going on holidays in summer and so on. She cant keep you down like shouldnt be like that.1st step i think u should see your gp without her going or knowing about it.tell them your situation.ask them to refer to social services for help for your mummy and when they come out offer help tou start to break free.there will be help fo your brother so dont be sttessed that you need to start caring for are far to young to be doing this all your life.with little or no unfair.i hope othsr members on here can give u more guidance and support which they done for me when i just joined and told my story of being tied down caring after 2 grandparents that wouldnt accept any other help from no one but demanded me.
Dear Jamie

First of all, don't panic (see below). Second, you are amongst friends here, so you can say anything you want of your fears, your frustration and even, yes, your 'anger' (which is justified) and know that you will not be misunderstood.

You can love your mum, and your younger brother and STILL - VERY JUSTIFIABLY - not want to give up your life for them.....

Now, the 'don't panic' is because yes, you're 28, but, you know, I suspect the reason you may have joined this forum is because you are so near the end of your twenties -the one decade of our lives that should be entirely 'self-indulgent' and 'carefree'. BUT, there is still time to rescue the last two years of this decade, and run it over into the next AND get your own life sorted and 'free' (at least, much, much freer!)

Think of your mum as a drowning person - she's in 'terror' and is clinging to you and drowning YOU because she doesn't believe there is any alternative. Youu mention paranoia, and that may well be the key (there is also the real possibility of another key, again, see below!) to her character and certainly to her behaviour. The thing about paranoia is that it is irrational - your mum could be given 'everything she wants' and STILL be paranoid about her life etc etc. It is a bottomless well of need, and unless it is tackled psychiatrically it cannot ' self-heal'.

But, and this is the crucial thing, her paranoia, her mental make up is HER responsibility. It is not yours. And it is neither your responsibility, nor your duty, nor your obligation to 'carry' her and enable her to continue in her current lifestyle.

She's using you as her crutch, and that has to stop - at least to the point where you have your life back at least to the degree that allows you to fulfil your own dreams, which are your RIGHT to have and fulfil.

Now, a second 'key' to your mum may be less 'forgiveable' than paranoia, it could be that she has a form of NP - narcissistic personality disorder. Alas, there are all too many examples on this forum of 'carees' expressing that unpleasant character trait, and having 'in thrall' their hapless families. Again, the important thing though is that whether or not she has/is this, it isn't your responsibility......

OK, practical things - where do you live (at home?), do you work/earn money, and if not, could you, if you didn't have to spend time looking after your mum? Do you claim Carer's Allowance for looking after her, what benefits is she on, if any, etc etc. What CAN she do, rather than what CAN'T she do - and by that I do not mean her mental issues, I only mean her physical capabilities.

What do you actually DO for her all day every day?

It's important to list all this and prioritise it, so that we can then get a handle on what you can 'outsource' to professional carers and what, quite frankly, doesn't need to be done at all anyway (eg, 'keeping company' with your mum).

The BIG challenge you are going to have to have is, quite brutally, finding the courage to stand up to her. As you know, you have NO legal duty of care towards her. You could walk out tomorrow and head for Australia and never come back, and that would be entirely your right. The 'chains' she as about you are those of 'distorted love', guilt, 'brainwashing', and, perhaps, most binding of all 'habit'.....

We can help you identify them, and start to break those chains, link by link without 'betraying your love for her'. And, indeed, by pointing out to you that we could say, you know, that IF she loved you with true maternal love, she would never, ever, ever want to 'enslave' you the way she has. I have a son a few years younger than you and I would NEVER want him to give up his own life for me. Never. True maternal love - as opposed to the distorted, fear-controlled/paranoid and possibly narcissistc self-obsession she has for you - ALWAYS wants the best for their child, at whatever price to the mother.... (and you, one day, will know this for yourself with your own children....). You CAN still love your mum, but from a position of freedom and compassion, not 'enslavement and control'.

Finally, what is the situation with your younger brother, in respect of his care needs and who is looking after him etc etc.

It's great you posted - your life CAN get better. Lots of people here - myself included! - have found that.

All the best wishes to you, KR, Jenny
To take one phrase from your mother

"You knew what you were taking on when you became a carer"

At first, not many of us did know that, did we?
Also, did she actually give you a choice???????????????????????????????
Yes i do live with her. I do it full time so i barely get any breaks. In terms of benefits we are ok i have carers and income support she has ESA and PIP. As for work she always uses the "what if this happens when your not here" and often tries telling me if anything happens to her me the carer will be held responsible (which i know isnt true and is just a form of emotional blackmail btw). In terms of my brother he applies extra pressure because on top of this already building tension and drama he tries to play people off each other for his own gains. He gets spoon fed everything. He is 18 and doesnt even know how to tie his shoelaces and has pretty much admitted he dont care about anything and all he wants to do in life is play his computer (not a twist of words this is literal). At the time i become a carer it wasnt really a choice i was living in a council flat on JSA but i couldnt find work because i used to get phone calls saying shes collapsed in a road or shes having a seizure meaning i miss appointments interviews etc i was sanctioned more than once because of it the council wanted to kick me out kuz i wasnt there alot of the time. But when i agreed to be a carer i really didnt think id be feeling this way. I thought id do some day to day work make sure shes ok then have some form of socialisation or "me time" I dont know if ive missed any info just let me know
Hi Jamie,
I think it's time you started an "Escape Plan". First, let me reassure you that sadly you are not the first person trapped like this. I can remember several others who have "escaped", one is now married with a child of his own. I don't think there is any point in making suggestions about how to make your current situation work, because it never will. Mum and your brother are, I suspect, unable to change, and even worse, unable to see how much you do. She comes over as an utter bully.
Promise yourself that this time next year things are going to be different.
Then remind yourself that mum has no power over you. You are not a child, but a man. The only power she has over you is the power you let her have.
There is a difference between being depressed, and being completely and utterly fed up.
Whilst you will get a lot of support here, you need someone to help you locally.
Ask Social Services for a Carers Assessment away from home, and explain that you want to give up caring.
Ask the assessor for an "advocate" someone who can speak up for/with you about what you want.
Ask the GP to arrange counselling for you. Do NOT tell mum, no decent counsellor would talk to someone with his mum there!!!!
In the meantime, start taking control. So it's a nice day and you take longer shopping than mum wants. Tough! Take as long as you like.
Yes defo take on bowlingbuns advice. Starting planning an do not have to this caring or feel guilty by deciding not to do. Striking point you made bowlingbun take time going to shops if its a nice day this is a problem i faced if i took my time or popped inbfor sandwitch for lunch along way as had been too busy to get some you could be guarteed my phone would constantly ring and ring where was i what kept me.real pet i leave fone on silent.just learn not to give into demands.
Jamie - I'll write 'properly' tomorrow (late now), but I do just want to say this (in addition to BB and Stacey, with whom I totally agree).

It is this.

No one will save you but yourself.

I know that sounds 'harsh' but so many trapped carers like you appear here as if they are hoping some 'magic wand' will be waved over their heads to 'set them free'....but it never happens. If the 'imprisoning caree' is very old, then, yes, maybe that 'magic wand' will be (sorry to say this) 'death'....and that may set the trapped carer free.....

But with your mum and bro, that isn't really going to happen, is it? Not for years, possibly decades, possibly till you are a man in late middle age, your whole life 'gone'....and all your dreams of girlfriends, a wife, children, a family, a home of your own, a life of your own....are GONE.

So, as I say, in the end, only YOU can make your escape good.

And that, I hope, is what we can help both inspire you, and reassure you, and make hopefuly practical suggestions, and support you while you make your escape....

It will come down to 'standing up' to your mum, and all the flak that will fall like a ton of bricks upon you.

One other thing - 'escaping' will NOT mean you don't love your mum, or don't love your brother. All it means is that YOU take control of your life and that, whether they like it or not (and they won't!), your mum has to accept that YOU have a RIGHT to a life.

You will still love your mum, still want the best for her, but you won't sacrifice your entire life to her and your brother. You will do 'a bit' but ONLY 'a bit', and that, Jamie, will be that.

Wishing you ALL the best, and telling you you DO 'have the power' to make that escape, and since sadly, no one will rescue you, you also have the 'duty to self' to do so.

Kind regards, Jenny.

PS - out of interest, does your mum ever say 'Thank you Jamie, you're a wonderful son! Thank you for everything you do, and everything you've done for so so long! THANK YOU!' ?????????????
Hi Jamie
listen mate you're not alone in this.
I'm ex Service and suffer from PTSD big time..My lovely Missus is severely disabled with more complications I can afford time to list here.
But like you..Yeah! It's not an easy station. All her frustrations etc are vented in my direction. Very little I do is "right". At times I'm damned if I do and Damned if I don't...The arguements can be fierce and I've had to explode many times with various things ending up broken in the sink or me going into a meltdown where my head seems to simply "lock" up and very little in the way of a thought process. It's SO frustrating.! And when my GP asks how I'm doing I say I'm not and nothing happens. Still on antidepressants and have been for years.
I've even had to simply just get up and leave the place for a while-I leave her safe but just had to get out.
I don't know the answer.
I just wanted you to know you are NOT alone.
I'ts very real and it happens.
Thinking of you